HUEY "PIANO" SMITH And The Rocking Pneumonia Blues

RESPECT YOURSELF:Stax Records And The Soul Explosion






Since our Second Time Around selections seem to be very popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them in addition to new releases. To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added an asterisk (*) after these particular titles. We have also included some choice sale items this time.


HUEY "PIANO" SMITH And The Rocking Pneumonia Blues by John Wirt ● BOOK $29.95
Softbound, 242 pages, counts as six CDs for shipping
Regular readers and customers of our bulletins should be familiar with Huey "Piano" Smith: one of the greatest of New Orleans' roster of musical legends. This first biography of the man responsible for timeless R&B classics "Don't You Just Know It" and "Sea Cruise" follows his extraordinary life from his Depression-era childhood to his teen years as a pianist for Blues great Guitar Slim to his mainstream success in the 50's and 60's. Author John Wirt draws on extensive interviews and court records to provide new insights on Smith's professional disappointments and financial struggles in the 80's and 90's as he battled over royalties from his work. But throughout the book, Wirt details Huey's impact on rock and roll history and underscores both the longevity of his music and the man's personal endurance in the face of hardship and opposition. (GMC)

RESPECT YOURSELF:Stax Records And The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon ● BOOK $29.95
Hardbound, 463 pages, counts as 10 CDs for shipping
Many books have touched on the extraordinary story of Stax Records and its' pioneering recordings, but few have covered the entire story from start to finish - until now. Written by the same author who brought us the definitive book on Muddy Waters, "Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters," "Respect Yourself" does more than simply document the history of a record label, it also delves into the economic, psychological, and sociological reasons for the label's existence and success. This is a tale rich in recent American history and contains lessons and reminders that there was a time when whites and Blacks were indeed separate and not equal, but that in one of the more racist cities in the South, Memphis, there was for a time an oasis of racial harmony. That oasis was Stax Records and I would consider this book to be its definitive story. And if you don't believe me, this is what Booker T. Jones has to say in the forward: "A work of gargantuan proportions, this tome is a labor of is lyrical writing about a lyrical subject from a son of Memphis". (GMC)



B.B. KING MVD Visual 6345 The Life Of Riley ● DVD $15.98
115 mins+ extras, mixed response
This is a full length biography of one of the greatest and most influential blues artists of the 20th century. The first half of the documentary will be enjoyed by diehard blues fans telling the story of B.B.'s rise from a shack in Mississippi to become the most popular and succesful blues artist with African-American audiences including interviews with family, friends, fellow musicians and Joe Bihari, one of the owners of Modern, where B.B. had his many great early hits. Much of the commentary is by B.B. himself drawing on recent and vintage interviews with some of the gaps being filled by Morgan Freeman. By the time he had recorded his groundbreaking live album "Live At The Regal" he was beginning to get recognition by white audiences and in particular the English blues and blue-rock bands and much of commentary in the second half of the documetary is with members of the Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Jonny Lang, Bono, Bruce Willis and many more. Obviously these people are significant to B.B.'s later career but it seems to me that too much time is spent discussing the significance of these artists which seems gratuitous particularly considering how much material they are trying to cram into 115 minutes. After about 1964 we see practically no African-American faces other than B.B. even though he influenced hundreds of black blues musicians who are continuing his tradition but since many of those artists working today don't have worldwide recognition I guess they are not considered important. Watching this documentary you really don't get an appreciation for how much impact B.B. had on other African-American blues musicians and African-American music in general. To sum up I found the first half of the documentary consistently rewarding, the second half unbearably dull and obnoxious. Caveat emptor. (FS)
Also available in BLU-RAY format - see below.

B.B. KING MVD Visual 6344 BR The Life Of Riley ● DVD $17.98
BLU-RAY version of above.



JESSE BELVIN Specialty 7003 Legends Of Specialty - Jesse Belvin : The Blues Ballad ● CD $14.98 $9.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
First time compilation of this L.A. R&B crooners' early to mid 50s Specialty sides. He is supported by Bobby Relf and The Laurels on the seductively tender Gone, the bouncy Love, Love Of My Life, the hypnotically beautiful Where's My Gal and the moody classic One Litle Blessing. Also included are four duets with Marvin Phillips from the Jesse & Marvin 1953 sessions including an alternate of Dream. There's a duet with Eugene Church and stunning demo of Love Of My Life accompanied by the prettiest piano figures I've heard in a while. The compact disc has 10 additional cuts including 5 previously unissued takes and three songs recorded for Cash or Recorded In Hollywood in 1952. Superlative collection with informed notes by Steve Propes. (OLN)
JESSIE BELVIN: Baby Don't Go/ Blues Has Got Me/ Come Back/ Confusin Blues Aka Jess'es Blues/ Confusin' Blues/ Daddy Loves Baby/ Daddy Loves Baby/ Ding Dong Baby/ Don't Stop (pretty Baby)/ Dream Girl/ Dream Girl/ Dream Girl/ Gone/ Hang Your Tears Out To Dry Aka Dry Your Tears/ Let's Try Romance/ Love Me/ Love Of My Life/ Love, Love Of My Life/ My Love Comes Tumbling Down/ One Little Blessing/ Open Up Your Heart/ Puddin' 'n' Tane/ What's The Matter/ Where's My Girl

MARTIN & ELIZA CARTHY Topic TSCD 587 The Moral Of The Elephant ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 50 mins, essential
Two of England's finest folk performers are father and daughter and here they are on their first duet album together and it's every bit the masterpiece I was hoping for. Martin and Eliza sing three solos each accompanying each other and duet on five others. Most of the songs are traditional and there are some real gems here - it's hard to pick favorites but among the highlights is Martin's stunning renditions of the very uncommon Queen Caraboo and a version of Bonny Moorhen, which unlike most versions which refer to the Jacobite rebellion, refers to an 1818 fight between miners and representatives of the mine owners. Eliza is magnificent on a reworking of a familiar traditional songs Awake, Awake adding lyrics from other traditional songs to create a spinechilling song about the moments of loneliness that we all feel. Together they sing the powerful Grand Conversation On Napoleon and the wonderful song The Elephant which is based on a poem by John Godfrey The Elephant based on the anicient folk tale of a group of blind men trying to determine what animal they are touching from the small part that they can touch and making it clear that when making decisions you need to see the whole picture. The set ends with a gorgeous version of Died For Love based on the version sung by Martin's brother-in-law and Eliza's uncle Mike Waterson. Eliza's fiddle and Martin's guitar playing have that empathy that comes from performing together for 30 years and being related. Simply wonderful. (FS)

SHIRLEY COLLINS, DAVY GRAHAM Fledgling Records 3052 Folk Roots, New Routes* ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, 49 mins, essential
Available for a while on Topic and then deleted, this wonderful, groundbreaking album from 1964 is now available on Fledgling and what a joy it is! Shirley sings a collection of traditional English and American songs in her sweet, breathy and vulnerable vocal style with guitar accompaniments from Davy Graham who, at the time, was beginning to make an impression on the British folk scene with his innovative techniques. The complex, yet never intrusive accompaniments incorporates elements of blues, jazz and Middle Eastern music and was to provide a benchmark for legions of future folk performers to add intricate guitar arrangements to their telling of traditional tales. Among the songs are Nottamun Town/ Proud Maisrie/ Hares On The Mountain/ Pretty Saro/ Jane, Jane/ Hori Horo/ Dearest Dear and others. There is also one song by Shirley with her own banjo accompaniment, an unaccompanied song and three superb instruemntals from Davy. After 50 years this album still has the ability to thrill and dazzle the listener. (FS)

WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER Bear Family BCD 16751 Big Midnight Special* ● CD $129.98
Four CD box set, 122 tracks, essential
The long awaited collection featuring all the recordings made between 1947 and 1964 by this superb duo accompanied by their group The Clinch Mountain Clan. Wilma Lee was one of the greatest of all female country singers with a wonderful emotion laden and expressive voice that is spellbinding - her singing raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Stoney is also a good singer and together they produce some fine harmonies. Their sound neatly straddles the line between bluegrass and honky tonk country featuring Wilma Lee on rhythm guitar and occasionally banjo and Stoney on fiddle. The early sides feature them accompanied by Dobro, mandolin and bass while the later recordings have steel and electric guitars and drums but whatever the arrangements their music always had an irresistible rural intensity. Although they didn't write much of their own material they made whatever they sang their own whether it was a traditional song or a song from the repertoire of Roy Acuff, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, the Louvin Brothers Lonnie Glosson or others. For the first time all their earliest recordings for Rich-R-Tone in 1947 are available in one place including four superb unissued sides. In 1949 they moved to Columbia where they recorded some of their finest sides including the spine-chilling Johnnie & Jack composition What's The Matter With This World , some incredible gospel songs like Walking My Lord Up Calvary Hill and Thirty Pieces Of Silver, a great version of Hank Snow's Golden Rocket with hot electric guitar by Gene Jenkins and many others. From this period are three unissued tracks from acetates in Wilma Lee's posession. In 1955 they moved to Hickory where they stayed for nine years and had their first big country hits with songs like Come Walk With Me, Big Midnight Special - a reworking of bluesman Lead Belly's Midnight Special, Don Gibson's There's A Big Wheel and a version of Wreck On The Highway - a Dorsey Dixon composition that was originally a hit for Roy Acuff in 1942. Many tracks are making their first appearance on CD and those that have been reissued before sound so much better here thanks to the superb mastering by Jurgen Crasser from original masters, wherever possible. Set comes with 48 page LP sized book with notes by Bruce McGuire which includes comments by Wilma Lee along with loads of photos, label shots and other memorabilia and full discographical details. (FS)

DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS ORCH. Original Jazz Classics OJCCD 664 Yale Concert ● CD $12.98 $8.98
9 tracks, 47 minds, highly recommended
It's amazing that Duke Ellington was still touring, creating and performing superlative big band music well into his 4th professional decade. Here's the proof - a 1968 concert of mostly unrecorded charts, featuring many Ellington "lifers". What Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves and Duke himself may haved lacked in youthful vigor, they more than made up for in self-assured and engaging solos over the focused section work that was their hallmark. Like the Ellington tour bus, you'll get a lot of mileage out of Little Purple Flower/ A Chromatic Love Affair/ Johnny Hodges Medley/ Swamp Goo/ Up-Jump. (MB)

THE EVERLY BROTHERS Varese 67253 Songs Our Daddy Taught Us ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
In 1958, at the peak of their popularity, rock 'n' roll/country superstars Phil and Don Everly released an album of traditional folk and country songs, "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us." Taking a minimalist approach, the songs are adorned only with guitar, bass and the brothers' peerless harmonies. Releasing such an album was not only a bold move, it was also way ahead of its' time prefiguring the folk craze by a couple of years. Whether performing songs by the likes of Charlie Monroe, Tex Ritter, and Gene Autry or performing traditional ditties like Roving Gambler, Barbara Allen, and Put My Little Shoes Away, Phil and Don are utterly charming and unpretentious in the their delivery. The original 12 track album is enhanced by alternate takes of Roving Gambler/ Down in the Willow Garden/ Barbara Allen, and Put My Little Shoes Away which are interesting, especially the electric version of Down in the Willow Garden. As recording of old songs that the boys were taught by their father Ike Everly, this is a treat for Every Brothers fans; as touchstone for future developments in the music zeitgeist, it is essential. (GMC)

JOE HOUSTON Specialty 2171 Cornbread And Cabbage Greens ● CD $13.98 $9.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Unlike many of the jazz vets of his generation, tenorist Houston didn't give a hoot for subtlety - in his frantic solos he'd choose a climactic note and wring the hell out of it, sending everyone into a rockin' frenzy. Yes friends, if you want R&B honkin', this is it in 26 slices from the John Dolphin labels, including a multitude of unreleased takes. His 78 spinners are here, including the hotter than hot Flying Home/ Rockin' & Boppin' and the classic squealer All Night Long, the mouth-watering title track as well as the jazzy Sentimental Journey. Houston had a few tricks in his bag, waxing jazz standards like Lester Leaps In/ I Cover The Waterfront with (as Billy Vera's boss notes reveal) nearly identical arranged solos on each take! The guy was consistent - these 1952 cuts are every bit as good as his sides for Modern, Imperial and others.This will drive your neighbors crazy, but get it anyway. (MB)

ALBERTA HUNTER, LUCILLE HEGAMIN, ETC Original Blues Classics 520 Songs We Taught Your Mother ● CD $12.98 $8.98
13 tracks, 42 mins, strongly recommended
Reissue of Bluesville 1052 from 1961. Fine set of jazz/ blues from three popular artists who originally recorded in the 20s and 30s - Alberta Hunter, Lucille Hegamin & Victoria Spivey accompanied by eexcellent small jazz bands Hunter and Spivey are accompanied by the splendid Buster Bailey/ clarinet, J. C. Higginbotham/ trombone, Cliff Jackson & others while Hegamin is accompanied by a smaller group with Willie "The Lion" Smith/piano, Henry Goodwin/ trumpet and others. Hunter and Spivey sound great - Spivey sounded in 1961 very little changed from her recordings 30 years earlier and is in better form than on the recordings on her own label. Although Alberta wasn't as strong as on her earlier sides she was fine and continued that way for another 25 years! Lucille Hegamin is the least interesting artist here - her singing is much more in the pop vaudeville style.

ALBERT KING Rockbeat 3245 Live In The 70s ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, 79 mins, strongly recommended
A solid set of live performances from the master of the Flying-V recorded at four gigs in the 1970s. Accompanied by solid groups he performs some of his best known songs like Blues Power/ Personal Manager/ Angel Of Mercy/ Born Under A Bad Sign/ I'll PLay The Blues For You, etc. along with some less common songs from his repertoire like Matchbox Blues and I Believe TO My Soul. Albert is in fine form with powerful vocals and lots of his trademark ferocious string bending. Sound quality varies but is generally excellent. (FS)

LITTLE MILTON Kent CDKEND 413 Little Milton Sings Big Soul ● CD $18.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
Bluesman-turned-soul singer Little Milton was riding a wave of popularity in the R&B charts when he cut an album called Little Milton Sings Big Blues for Chess Records' Checker subsidiary in 1966. The album was a tribute to the Blues standards he had cut his teeth on before turning to Soul music. Now comes a sort-of sequel to that earlier recording, Little Milton Sings Big Soul, which collects the recordings that Milton cut for R&B/Blues revival label Malaco Records between 1984 and 2002. Drawing on material from writers like Tony Joe White (A Rainy Night in Georgia), King Floyd (What Our Love Needs), Isaac Hayes and David Porter (Can't Trust Your Neighbor), and George Jackson (Strugglin' Lady), the arrangements are subtle and lack many of the more bombastic aspects of 80's/90's productions and Milton delivers sensitive and potent vocal performances. As a taster for Milton's Malaco recordings (some of which are still available, check out 1988's "Back to Back" - Malaco 7448 - $18.98), this CD is invaluable and anyone interested in his later work should start here. (GMC)

25 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
Another welcome reissue of sides from the Modern label this time featuring the talents of Texas singer & piano player Little Willie Littlefield. Willie was only 18 when he made the first of the recordings here (It's Midnight cut in Houston in 1949 and a #3 Billboard R&B hit) but his singing and piano playing are solid and assured. The rest of the tracks were cut in Los Angeles between 1950 and '52 in the company of top L.A. musicians like Maxwell Davis on sax, Chuck Norris or Johnny Moore on guitar, Al "Cake" Wichard on drums and others. The music is a mixture of blues, blues ballads and boogies - Willie is a superb boogie woogie piano player. A couple of cuts are duets with female singer Little Lora Wiggins including the minor hit I've Been Lost. This fine collection includes several previously unissued alternate takes and a couple of unissued titles as well as quite a few tracks that were not originally issued on 78. Sound quality is stunning and there are decent notes by compiler Ray Topping who, as usual, refrains from providing discographical info. (FS)
LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: 'Long About Midnight/ Ain't A Better Story Told/ Cheerful Baby/ Happy Pay Day/ Hit The Road/ I Like It/ I've Been Lost/ It's Midnight (No Place To Go)/ Life Of Trouble/ Love Me Tonight/ Lump In My Throat (Tears In My Eyes)/ Mean Mean Woman/ Money Hustlin' Woman/ Nakite Stomp (Inst)/ Real Fine Mama/ Rockin' Chair Mama/ The Nights Are So Long/ The Sun Is Shining In Your Front Door/ Til We Meet Again/ Too Late For Me/ Train Whistle Blues (aka Train Whistle Blowing)/ Trouble Around Me/ Trouble Around Me/ You Never Miss A Good Woman Till She's Gone/ Your Love Wasn't So

LONNIE MACK Ace CDCHD 807 From Nashville To Memphis* ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
The third collection featuring recordings made for Fraternity by this great guitarist between 1963 and 1967. It includes hits, rarities, accompaniments, alternate takes and unissued sides. Among the highlights are a great version of King Curtis's Soul Serenade issued under the name of Beau Dollar & The Kings, a very tasty version of Buck Owens' theme song Buckaroo, the original mono version of the classic Memphis, the rockin' bluesy two part Blues Twist and more. A few of the tracks are expendable but most of it is top notch and features lots of Lonnie's distinctive guitar stylings - he even turns I Left My Heart In San Francisco into a rockin' bluesy workout. The 12 page booklet has notes by Stu Coleman, photos and a complete discography of Lonnie's Fraternity recordings. (FS)
THE CHARMAINES: Goodbye Baby Goodbye/ BEAU DOLLAR & THE COINS: Any Day Now/ Down In The Dumps (alt Tk)/ Soul Serenade/ MAX FALCON: I'm So Satisfied/ LONNIE MACK: Are You Guilty?/ Blues Twist Part 1/ Blues Twist Part 2/ Buckaroo/ Coastin'/ Crying Over You/ Doggin'/ Don't Make My Baby Blue (alt Tk)/ Honky Tonk '65/ I Left My Heart In San Francisco/ Memphis/ Nashville/ No More Pain/ Omaha/ She Don't Come Here Anymore/ Teacha/ The Circus Song (alt Tk 1)/ Tonky-go-go/ When I'm Alone (alt Tk 1)/ Wildwood Flower (alt Tk)/ DENNY "DUMPY" RICE: Instrumental #1

PHIL OCHS All Access 118 A Hero Of The Game ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 52 mins, very highly recommended
Considered by many to be the quintessential Greenwich Village folkie, and by some to be second only the Bob Dylan the 60's folk lottery, Phil Ochs was a force of nature who believed every word he wrote and in every cause he wrote about. This radio broadcast of a 1965 concert contains songs that were, for the most part, new and unrecorded at the time. Some of these songs would remain unreleased for years before finally turning up on retrospective collections, while others surfaced on later albums (his classic Crucifixion issued on 1967's Pleasures of the Harbor, for example). With just his voice and a guitar Ochs coveys whatever message he has to give with a melodicism that Dylan often lacked. His sweet voice sugarcoats the sting in songs like White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land, which makes the message go down that much easier. Elsewhere, a love song like Changes is an emotional mini-masterpiece. This recording isn't buried treasure since everything here has seen the light of day in some other form, but the intimacy and relaxed nature of Ochs' performance makes this CD a wonderful find for fans of Ochs and the folk-protest movement alike. (GMC)

SMOKEY SMOTHERS Ace CDCHD 858 Smokey Smothers Sings The Backporch Blues* ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 70mins, essential
In August, 1960 Chicago singer & guitarist Otis "Smokey" Smothers entered the Cincinatti studios of King Records and in the company of guitarists Freddy King & Fred Jordan, drummer Phillip Paul and producer Sonny Thompson produced possibly the finest Chicago down home blues session of the 60s. Twelve songs were recorded in a relatively short period of time and each one is a minor materpiece - Smokey's voice has a lazy Jimmy Reed quality, the songs are excellent and varied and the instrumental work is simply sublime. Freddy King had started his career being influenced by guitarists like Jimmy Rogers and Eddie Taylor and his playing here owes a debt to those musicians but also has elements of the more energetic style that he was developing. His solo work is astounding, varying from track to track to suit the mood of the song and the interplay with the guitar work of rhythm guitarist Fred Jordan (who is he?) brings to mind some of the duo guitar work on Muddy's 50s recordings. Tracks from this session were released on a series of singles on Federal and in 1962 on a King LP whose rarity is legendary. For this release Ace have gone back to the original master tapes meaning they were able to leave out the unnecesarry dubbed on bass and present the original full length takes - some were edited when originally released. There are four tracks from another King session in 1962 with a different line up including fine harpist Louis "Little" Boyd - fine Chicago blues but missing the magic of that earlier session. Finally there are nine alternate takes from the 1960 sessions which are fine and interesting but clearly inferior to the issued takes. If you have any interest in down home Chicago blues you must have this! (FS)

THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS Stax 8565 Estelle, Myrna And Sylvia ● CD $12.98 $8.98
This reissue of the 1973 Stax album was recorded after Emily "Cissy" Houston had left for a solo career, but there were still enough Inspirations here to make a wonderful record. The first song Wishes And Dishes will convert disbelievers - slow, plaintive vocals wax mournful on a marriage gone sour, and 6 minutes hardly seem like enough time. Call Me When All Else Fails is another slow, sad one that leaves little wonder why these women used to sing backup for Aretha Franklin. The upbeat Slipped And Tripped turns the idea of literally falling in love into a great song. Come to think of it, there are no bad cuts here. As a bonus, this CD adds two hits from 1967: Why (Am I Treated So Bad), their first chart success, and Sweet Inspiration, which reached #5 on Billboard's R&B chart. Recommended. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 579 Dootone Doo-Wop, Vol. 1* ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 75 min., highly recommended
Dootsie Williams' famed Los Angeles label once again gets the treatment it deserves in this Ace reissue dedicated to the various less prolific early 50's to early 60's vocal groups that recorded for the Dootone/Dooto label. Program highlights this time around include Guided Missiles by the Cuff Links, Let Me Give You Money by the Pipes, You're Not Too Young by Charles McCullough & the Silks, I Laughed So Hard by the Fabulous Pearls, Don't Take Your Love From Me by the Calvanes, The Day You Said Goodbye by the Dootones, Double Dealing Baby by the Souvenirs, and Only for You by the Cameos. Great music, solid notes by Jim Dawson, impeccable sound quality, and several vintage photos. (DH)
THE CALVANES: Don't Take Your Love (from Me)/ Flee Oo Wee/ They Call Me Fool/ THE CAMEOS: Craving/ Only For You/ THE CUFF LINKS: Guided Missiles/ How You Lied/ It's Too Late Now/ The Winner/ THE CUFFLINX: Zoom/ THE DOOTONES: Down The Road/ Teller Of Fortune/ The Day You Said Goodbye/ CLEVE DUNCAN & THE RADIANTS: To Keep Our Love/ FABULOUS PEARLS: I Laughed So Hard/ THE FABULOUS PEARLS: My Hearts Desire/ VERNON GREEN & THE MEDALLIONS: Rocket Ship/ DON JULIAN & THE MEADOWLARKS: Always And Always/ CHARLES MCCULLOUGH & THE SILKS: My Girl/ You're Not Too Young/ THE MEDALLIONS: Buick '59/ THE PENGUINS: No There Ain't No News Today/ Ookey Ook/ You're An Angel/ THE PIPES: Let Me Give You Money/ THE SOUVENIRS: Alene, Sweet Little Texas Queen/ Double Dealing Baby/ JOHNNY TWOVOICE & THE MEDALLIONS: My Pretty Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 588 Dootone Doo Wop, Vol. 2* ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 74 min., essential The second volume of Ace's look at the Dootone label of Los Angeles is every bit as solid as volume one. Cover art features a stellar shot of the Calvanes making a local TV appearance. The notes by Jim Dawson are intelligent and informative. And the music, in Dawson's words, is "sometimes crude, occasionally dissonant, but always interesting." Right on. Featured numbers include I Still Remember by the Romancers (led by Bobby Freeman), Honey Gee by the Saigons, Ay Si Si (Mambo) by the Dootones, I Ain't Gonna Cry No More by the Penguins, Did I Do Wrong by the Cuff Links, the very nice ballad Sailor Boy by the Dootones #2, You're An Angel by the Pipes, That'll Make It Nice by Eli and the Manhattans, I'll Never Love Again by Johnny Twovoice & the Medallions, and So Long Daddy by the Souvenirs. The West Coast vocal group sound at its best. (DH)
THE CALVANES: Baby Come On Come/ Crazy Over You/ One More Kiss/ LEE COLLINS & THE ORBITS: Tell Me Baby/ Two Crazy Scientists/ THE CUFF LINKS: My Heart/ THE DEBONAIRES: May We Be On Better Terms/ THE DOOTONES: Ay Si Si (mambo)/ If You Were My Darling/ Sailor Boy/ CLEVE DUNCAN & THE RADIANTS: I'm Betting My Heart (on You)/ ELI & THE MANHATTANS: That'll Make It Nice/ THE FASCINATORS: I Wonder Why/ HENRY HOUSTON & CUFFLINX: Lawful Wedding/ DON JULIAN & THE MEADOWLARKS: Heaven & Paradise/ THE CUFF LINKS: Did I Do Wrong/ ARTHUR LEE MAYE & THE DREAMERS: Ding A Ling/ THE MEDALLIONS: Speedin'/ THE PENGUINS: I Ain't Gonna Cry No More/ THE PIPES: You're An Angel/ THE ROMANCERS: House Cat/ I Still Remember/ Jump And Hop/ This Is Goodbye/ THE SAIGONS: Honey Gee/ You're Heavenly/ THE SOUVENIRS: So Long Daddy/ JOHNNY TWOVOICE & THE MEDALLIONS: I'll Never Love Again

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ACRCD 228 Queen Of Hits - The Macy's Recordings Story* ● CD $10.98
27 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended Excellent collection of blues and hillbilly recorded for Charles and Macy Lela Henry's Macy's label between 1949 and 1951. Although only active for two years the label launched the careers of several important Texas blues and country and hillbilly artists including country superstar Jim Reeves, who is not featured on this collection. On the blues side we have down home country blues from the prolific Smokey Hogg as well as more urban sides from Lester Williams (his first recordings), Clarence Garlow (his first recordings including his hit Bon Ton Roulet), Cab McMillan and Hubert Robinson. On the country side we have Cajun country legend Harry Choates with the hot western swing number Harry's Blues, the first commercial recordings of Tommy Scott including the great Tennessee with hot guitar from "Junior" Blevins plus, Curly Rash & His South Texas Playboys, Art Gunn & His Arizona Playboys (from Florida!), Barney Vardeman and His Drifting Texans and Bill Grady's Dixie Cowboys. Consistently fine music throughout with informative notes from Dave Penny. (FS)
HARRY CHOATES: Harry's Blues/ CLARENCE GARLOW: Blues As You Like It/ Bon Ton Roula/ Boogie Mood/ Jumpin' For Joy/ BILL GRADY: Ramblin Man/ ART GUNN: Boogie Woogie Blues/ SMOKEY HOGG: Leaving You Baby/ You Gotta Go/ CAB MCMILLAN: I'm Young And Able/ Three Women Blues/ CURLEY RASH: Humble Road Boogie/ HUBERT ROBINSON: Bad Luck And Trouble/ Boogie The Joint/ High Class Woman/ I Love You Baby/ Old Woman Boogie/ Room And Board Boogie/ TOMMY SCOTT: Tennessee/ When A Man Gets The Blues/ BARNEY VORDEMAN: Lets Call It Quits/ LESTER WILLIAMS: Dowling Street Hop/ Hey Jack/ I Know That Chick/ I'm So Glad I Could Jump And Shout/ Texas Town/ Wintertime Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16093 Spain In My Heart - Songs Of The Spanish Civil War ● CD $219.98
Another amazing production from Bear Family. This box set tells the story of the Spanish Civil War in song, words, pictures and video. Between 1936 and 1939 a bloody civil war was fought between the "Republicans" loyal to the democratically elected government and the "Nationalists" (aka fascists) - a military group led by General Francisco Franco with support from Nazi Germany and Fascst Italy. Ultimately the Nationalists won and Franco became dictator and ruled the country with an iron hand from 1939 until his death in 1975. Joining in the fight against the Nationalists were groups of volunteers from all over the world who were alarmed at the rise of facism - these groups were known as the International Brigades. The seven CDs feature 130 songs including songs of the Spanish Republic, Songs Of The Fighting Spanish People, Songs of The Republican Popular Army and Songs Of The International Brigades. About half the recordings were made around the time of the war and the rest are later recordings of songs that were written during the period. In addition there is a DVD with a documetary telling the little known story of 300 Jews from Palestine who volunterred for the International Brigades to fight against Franco. Accompanying this is a 300 page full color LP sized book with text in English, German and Spanish. It includes lyrics of all the songs with extensive commentary, a timline of the war and eyewitness acounts by authors ranging from Ernest Hemmingway to German Socialsit writer Ludwig Renn who had been jailed by Hitler for "literary high treason." It is copiously illustrated in color and black & white with historical photos, 40 color reproductions of Republican posters and 31 watercolors from 1938 in facsimile and more. This massive set weighs 7 pounds so counts as 35 regular CDs for shipping purposes.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard 1013Z Down Home Blues Classics - California & West Coast* ● CD $14.98
Two CDs, 56 tracks, 157 mins, essential
Available again at a significantly lower price. This is a fantastic collection of wonderful and incredibly rare music recorded in California between 1948 and 1955. We're familiar with the polished and sophisticated sounds of Charles Brown, Roy Milton, T-Bone Walker and many others who helped form the foundation of modern blues and R&B but there were also a number of performers who performed in an older more rural style. Most of these recordings were made for tiny labels like Jaxyson, Octive, Murray, Elko and others with limited distribution (J.T. Fullbright of Elko distributed his records directly to customers from the trunk of his car!) along with a few more familiar labels like Swingtime, Recorded In Hollywood, etc. Much of the music recorded here harks back to the blues of the 30s and there is just one musical treasure after another. It includes almost the entire output of the wonderful Little Son Willis - a superb singer and piano who was obviously influenced by Doctor Clayton though Willis has a sweeter vocal style - his version of Clayton's Harlem Blues is nothing short of a masterpiece. K.C. Douglas's Mercury Boogie is probably the most well known song here and this set also includes the wonderful flipside - the topical Eclipse Of The Sun featuring a vocal by harmonica player Sidney Maiden. Slim Green does a country blues flavored version of Curtis Jones' Tin Pan Alley as Alla Blues - a song that was to become a West Coast blues standard, Sonny Boy Johnson and his very down home group do a fine version of Baby Please Don't Go and his Desert Blues features some nice slide guitar. Black Diamond is a superb country blues singer and guitarist and does two songs from 1948 that could have easily been recorded 15 years earlier. Female singer Willie B. Huff has one of the most low down voices you've ever heard and is accompanied by equally low down guitar of Johnny Fuller. Other great artists here include Little Willie Cotton, Goldrush, Junior Hampton, Sonny Boy Holmes, Buddy Lewis (aka Ernest Lewis - a wonderful singer/ guitarist from Texas), Ernest McClay, Jerry Perkins, Beverly Scott and his Trio and others. A number of these tracks were issued some years ago on the ABM label but sound quality here is considerably better. 8 page fold out booklet has detailed notes by Mike Rowe and full discographical data. If you have any interest in down home blues then this is an absolute must! (FS)
BLACK DIAMOND: Lonesome Blues/ T.P. Railer/ LITTLE WILLIE COTTON: A Dream/ Gonna Shook It Up And Go/ KING DAVIS: Someday You'll Understand/ Waggin' Your Tail/ K.C. DOUGLAS: K.C. Boogie/ Lonely Blues/ Mercury Blues/ GOLDRUSH: All My Money Is Gone/ SLIM GREEN: Alla Blues/ Baby I Love You/ Central Avenue Blues/ Tricky Woman Blues/ JUNIOR HAMPTON: J.H. Stomp/ SONNY BOY HOLMES: I Got Them Blues/ T-N-T Woman/ WILLIE B. HUFF: Beggar Man Blues/ I Love You Baby/ I've Been Thinkin' And Thinkin'/ Operator 209/ BROTHER JACKSON: L.C. Boogie/ SONNY BOY JOHNSON: Come And Go With Me/ Desert Blues/ I've Been Drinkin' My Last Drink/ I've Got The $64,000 Question/ Swimming Pool Blues/ Walkin' And Cryin' Blues/ BUDDY LEWIS: Lonesome Bedroom Blues/ You've Got Good Business/ SIDNEY MAIDEN: Eclipse Of The Sun/ Everything Is Wrong/ Hurry Hurry Baby/ ERNEST MCCLAY: Big Timing Woman/ Night Working Woman/ JERRY PERKINS: Katherine Blues/ Knockin' The Boogie/ My Baby's Last Goodbye/ P38 Stomp/ AL PRINCE: Don't Love A Married Woman/ Wine Talk/ HASKELL SADLER: Do Right Mind/ Gone For Good/ BEVERLY SCOTT: Brownskin Woman/ Little Girl Blues/ Shakin' The Boogie/ Southern California Blues/ ALVIN SMITH: On My Way/ LITTLE SON WILLIS: Baby Come Back Home/ Bad Luck And Trouble/ Harlem Blues/ I Love You Just The Way You Are/ Nothing But The Blues/ Operator Blues/ Roll Me Over Slow/ Skin And Bone

VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard 1015 Down Home Blues Classics - Memphis & The South, 1949-54* ● CD $14.98
Two CDs, 54 tracks, essential
Another fabulous collection of down home blues in this great series from Boulevard. This one concentrating on musicians from the "deep south" - Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama along with musicians from central hubs in Nashville and Memphis. Among the more familiar names here are Big Joe Williams with his incredibly rare and superb 1949 coupling for Bullet and 1945 side for Chicago. Big Joe had been recording since 1935 and his style remined unchanged throughout his lengthy recording career. There are four sides by the great one man band Joe Hill Louis - his Sun and Modern sides have been reissued previously but this features his earliest sides recorded in 1949 for, surprisingly enough, Columbia. Another surprise comes from another major label MGM with a previously unknown coupling from superb Nashville singer/ guitarist Louis Campbell. This set also features the pre Excello recordings of the great Louisiana country bluesman - six songs from three different sessions with three different harmonica players including the very fine Schoolboy Cleve who is featured on two tracks of his own with Slim providing the suitably funky guitar accompaniment. And then there's the four incredible tracks by Alabama singer/ guitarist John Lee - certainly one of the greatest country bluesmen to record in the post war era. Other artists include Jerry McCain, Little Sam Davis, James Bledose (recording as Country Jim and Hot Rod Happy), Willie Nix, Tommy Lee (his truly sublime Packin' Up My Blues) and others. Like others in this series this features consistently great music from beginning to end with excellent sound plus informative notes by Paul Vernon and discographical details. (FS)
LOUIS CAMPBELL: A Call On The Phone/ Don’t Want Anyone Hanging Round/ SCHOOLBOY CLEVE: She’s Gone/ Strange Letter Blues/ COUNTRY JAM: Phillipine Blues/ COUNTRY JIM: I’ll Take You Back/ Old River Blues/ Sad And Lonely/ PERCY LEE CRUDUP: Open Your Book/ Tears In My Eyes/ LITTLE SAM DAVIS: 1958 Blues/ Going Home To Mother/ She’s So Good To Me/ J.D. HORTON: Why Don’t You Let Me Be/ HOT ROD HAPPY: Worried Blues/ LUTHER HUFF: Bulldog Blues/ Dirty Disposition/ Rosalee/ LOST JOHN HUNTER: YM & V Blues/ JOHN LEE: Alabama Boogie/ Baby’s Blues/ Blind’s Blues/ Down At The Depot/ TOMMY LEE: Packin’ Up My Blues/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: Jumpin’ With Jarvis/ P.L.Blues `/ Wine, Whiskey & Women/ LIGHTNING SLIM: Bad Luck/ Bugger Bugger Boy/ Ethel Mae/ I Can’t Live Happy/ New Orleans Bound/ Rock Me Mama/ JOE HILL LOUIS: A Jumpin’ And A Shufflin’/ Don’t Trust Your Best Friend/ Joe’s Jump/ Railroad Blues/ WILLIE LOVE: 21 Minutes To 9/ Nelson St. Blues/ Shady Lone Blues/ V8 Ford Blues/ JERRY MCCAIN: East Of The Sun/ Love To Make Up/ Stay Out of Automobiles/ Wine O Wine/ WILLIE NIX: Just One Mistake/ Truckin’ Little Woman/ DOCTOR ROSS: Country Clown/ DR. ROSS: Dr.Ross Boogie/ BOOGIE BILL WEBB: Bad Dog/ I Ain’t For It/ BIG JOE WILLIAMS: His Spirit Lives On/ Married Woman Blues/ She’s A Driving Woman

VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard 1017 Down Home Blues Classics - New York & The Eastern States* ● CD $14.98
Available again at a significantly lower price. Another fabulous collection of post down home blues from Boulevard - this time featuring recordings from New York and the East Coast states made between 1943 and 1953. About half the tracks are solo vocal and guitar while the rest are with small down home groups. A number of the artists first recorded in the 20s and 30s (Brownie McGhee, Curley Weaver and Blind Willie McTell) with very little change in style and other artists show a stylistic indebtedness to the early era. Most of these tracks have been out before but it's great have these all in one place with intelligent notes by Paul garon linking them. Includes Ralph Willis, Brownie McGhee, Carolina Slim, Julius King, Boy Green, Dennis McMillon, Dan Pickett, Gabriel Brown, Leroy Dallas, Doug Quattleboaum, Skoodle-Dum_doo & Sheffield, Robert Lee Westmoreland an others.
ALEC 'GUITAR SLIM' SEWARD & LOUIS 'JELLY BELLY' HAYES: Crooked Wife/ Good Boy/ In Love Blues/ Me And My Baby/ GABRIEL BROWN: Cold Love/ Stick With Me/ CAROLINA SLIM: One More Drink/ Side Walk Boogie/ LEROY DALLAS: Good Morning Blues/ I'm Down Now But I Won't Be Down Always/ I'm Going Away/ Jump Little Children/ JACK DUPREE: Drunk Again/ Highway Blues (Walking Down The Highway)/ Number Nine Blues/ Shim Sham Shimmy/ Stumbling Block Blues/ BIG BOY ELLIS: Dices Dices/ BOY GREEN: A And B Blues/ Play My Jukebox/ HANK KILROY: Harlem Women/ JULIUS KING: I Want A Slice Of Your Pudding/ If You See My Lover/ Mississippi Boogie/ One O'Clock Boogie/ LITTLE DAVID: You're Gonna Weep And Moan/ BROWNIE MCGHEE: Bottom Blues/ Confusin' Blues/ Greyhound Bus/ Knockabout Blues (Coralonia Blues)/ Tell Me Baby/ That's The Stuff (Watch Out)/ DENNIS MCMILLON: Goin' Back Home/ Paper Wooden Daddy/ Woke Up One Morning/ 'BLIND' WILLIE MCTELL: Kill It Kid/ Love Changing Blues/ Talkin' To You Mama/ DAN PICKETT: Ride To A Funeral In A V-8/ You Got To Do Better/ DOUG QUATTLEBAUM: Don't Be Funny Baby/ MARILYN SCOTT: Let's Do The Boogie Woogie/ SKOODLE-DUM-DOO & SHEFFIELD: West Kinney Street Blues/ CAROLINA SLIM: Georgia Woman/ SQUARE WALTON: Bad Hangover/ CURLEY WEAVER: My Baby's Gone/ Some Rainy Day/ Trixie/ ROBERT LEE WESTMORELAND: Good Looking Woman/ Hello Central Please Give Me 209/ RALPH WILLIS: Church Bell Blues/ Goodbye Blues/ Lazy Woman Blues/ Tell Me Pretty Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus IMPCD 2 Imperial Hillbilly, Vol. 2 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, recommended
A second collection drawn from the Imperial label's little known country recordings. There are some fine and rare sides here though an overabundance of novelty numbers makes it not as interesting as the first volume. Includes Gen Hensley, Billy Briggs, Danny Dedmon, Jimmy Widener, Ed Camp, Billy Starr, Earl Songer (his fine honky tonker It's A Cold Cold Love is one of the tracks here), Pete Lane, Homer Zeke Clemons (the risque Sell The Coldest Stuff In Town) and others. (FS)
CHARLIE ADAMS: Goodbye Baby/ I'm Drinking & Thinking Over You/ TEX ATCHISON: How Could You/ BUDDY ATTAWAY: Why Did I Leave Cloutchville/ JOE BILL: Poison Pie/ BILLY BRIGGS: Female Shuffle/ Mid-Nite Dream/ Waitress Blues/ ED CAMP: Hillbilly Dumpling/ No Regrets/ HOMER ZEKE CLEMONS: Sell The Coldest Stuff In Town/ DANNY DEDMON: Gin Drinkin' Mama/ Gonna Trade My Redhead For A Blonde/ You Can't Hen Peck Me/ EDDIE HAZELWOOD: Way Way Down In San Antone/ JIMMIE HEAP: Honky Tonkin' Women/ GENE HENSLEE: Naughty But Nice/ Rockin' Baby/ HOOT & CURLEY: Liniment And Turpentine/ VAN HOWARD: Red Hot Flame/ PETE LANE: No More Lovin'/ LITTLE PAL BRADY: Red Lips & Poker Chips/ BILL MACK: Play My Boogie/ BILLY MCGHEE: Lonely/ Talking To The Man In The Moon/ AL ROBINSON: I Caught You Slipping ‘Round/ EARL SONGER: It's A Cold Cold Love/ BILLY STARR: I'm Gonna Play The Field/ DUSTY WALKER: Peaches And Cream/ JIMMY WIDENER: Padlock On The Door/ JESS WILLIAMS: I Love To Kiss/ DOYLE WRIGHT: An Ache In My Heart

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 4ST 2 4-Star Hillbilly, Volume 2 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended
A second great selection of tracks drawn from the vast catalog of the 4 Star label, run by the infamous Bill McCall. The label gave a start to a number of artists who went on to national fame but this volume only includes one of them T.Texas Tyle with the swinging Snow On The Mountain. There are three superb tracks (also available on Arhoolie) by the wonderful old time duo The Armstrong Twins including my favorite by them Beetle With The Boogie Beat. The two tracks by The Maddox Brothers & Rose are also available on Arhoolie but are great. The set also includes a track by pioneering guitarist Porky Freeman with a 1945 remake of his 1944 recording of Boogie Woogie On The Strings which is considered to be the first guitar boogie instrumental on record. Firecracker Stomp from 1953 by Jimmie Lane is another hot guitar instrumental. Other artists featured include R. D. Hendon, The Miller Brothers (superb Texas group whose cuts here are close to rock 'n' roll), Texie Holle & Smokey Rogers (old timey duo with fine version of the old favorite Going Down The Road), Taylor Morris (with a plea that is still true more than 60 years after he recorded it No Real Hillbillies Makin' Hillbilly Music), Don Whitney, Arkie Shibley (the talking blues Pick Pick Pickin' My Guitar), Eddie Marvin and more. Excellent sound but, as usual, no notes. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 61939 J.O.B. Records Blues Story* ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 36 tracks, essential, if you don't already have the material
The J.O.B. label was founded in Chicago in 1949 by Joe Brown and St. Louis Jimmy and between 1950 and '54 issued many masterpieces of Chicago blues that are prized by blues lovers and collectors. Subsequent research in the 1980s uncovered a treasure trove of unissued material and most of the issued and unissued material was then reissued. In the early years of the 21st century the label was acquired by E-Music and all this material was reissued on newly remastered CDs by Westside in the U.K. and P-Vine in Japan. Fuel Records in the U.S.A. has issued sporadic reissues of material from the label, usually in compilations with material from other labels and then deleted and reissued them in different compilations. This two CD set is their most in depth look yet at the label and is essentially a trimmed down version of the double CD with 54 tracks issued by Westside in 2001 "Rough Treatment - The J.O.B. Records Story" and now long deleted. If you don't already have any of the previous reissues then this is an indispensible collection of Chicago blues at its very best. There are three tracks by the magnificent vocalist Baby Face Leroy Foster that are alone worth the price of admission as are the two tracks by Johnny Shines including his spellbinding amplified update of Robert Johnson's Walking Blues as Rambling. And the rest is not too far behind including cuts by Snooky Pryor, Sunnyland Slim, Floyd Jones, Memphis Minnie (her tremendous version of Kissing In The Dark is from her last session in 1953), Robert Jr. Lockwood (his fabulous Aw Aw is a version of Johnson's Sweet Home Chicago), Eddie Boyd and others. One fabulous track after the other. Superb sound and informative ntes by Bill Dahl. (FS)
EDDIE BOYD: Five Long Years/ It's Miserable To Be Alone/ GRACE BRIM: Man Around My Door/ JOHN BRIM: Drinking Woman/ Trouble In The Morning/ ERNEST COTTON: Going Back To Memphis/ ROBERT DUNBAR & THE EAGLE-AIRES: Number One Baby/ BABY FACE LEROY FOSTER: Blues Is Killin' Me/ My Head Can't Rest Anymore/ Pet Rabbit/ JOHN LEE HENLEY: Rhythm Rockin' Boogie/ FLOYD JONES: Dark Road/ On The Road Again/ MOODY JONES: Why Should I Worry/ EDDIE KING: Shakin' Inside/ J.B. LENOIR: How Much More/ Let's Roll/ Play A Little While/ The Mojo/ LITTLE HUDSON: Rough Treatment/ LITTLE SON JOE: Ethel Bea/ ROBERT JR. LOCKWOOD: Aw Aw/ Pearly B/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Kissing In The Dark/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Keep On Drinkin'/ SNOOKY PRYOR: Boogie Twist/ Boogy Fool/ Cryin' Shame/ I'm Getting Tired/ JOHNNY SHINES: Evening Sun/ Rambling/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: Down Home Child/ Leaving Your Town/ That Woman/ Woman Trouble/ ALFRED "THE FAT MAN" WALLACE: You've Gotta Stop This Mess

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 62000 Say Amen! Gospel Funk From Jewel Records ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
These eighteen gems from Stan Lewis' Jewel Records represent only a drop in the bucket of the label's extensive gospel catalog. But the songs here were well chosen, especially The Mediation Singers' version of Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come, Stanley Winston's No More Ghettos in America (with a message that's as timely now as when it was recorded in the early 70's), Albertina Walker's Mama Said, Thank You, Dorothy Norwood's He's a Friend, and Armstrong Brothers' Can You Treat Him Like a Brother. Since many of these songs were recorded in the 70's, the arrangements lean more toward the funky side of the soul spectrum (hence the album title!) which lends the proceedings a listenable groove. The collection could have used more comprehensive liner notes, but on the whole this is a good introduction to the gospel gold that lies in Jewel's vaults. (GMC)
THE ARMSTRONG BROTHERS: Can You Treat Him Like A Brother/ KEITH BARROW: Everythings Gonna Be Alright/ THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA: Im On The Battlefield/ THE BROOKLYN ALLSTARS: I'm Glad Youre Mine/ THE CHIMES: Woke Up This Morning/ THE FANTASTIC VIOLINARES: Im Not Worried/ CLARENCE FOUNTAIN: This Little Light Of Mine/ ERNEST FRANKLIN: Trying Time/ REV. ORIS MAY: Nobody Can Turn Me Around/ THE MEDIATION SINGERS: A Change Is Gonna Come/ DOROTHY NORWOOD: Hes A Friend/ ROSCOE ROBINSON: Do It The Right Way/ THE SILVER GATE QUARTET: Watch That Rogue/ THE SOUTHERNERS: Jesus Is Real To Me/ THE TRAVELING ECHOES: God Dont Change/ THE VIOLINARES: Message To My Friends/ ALBERTINA WALKER: Mama Said, Thank You/ STANLEY WINSTON: No More Ghettos In America

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7754 Atlanta Blues - Big City Blues From The Heartland* ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 101 tracks, essentia
 Not sure about the subtitle though. What about the pre-blues, country dance tunes, gospel songs, old time medleys, vaudeville songs? Still, there are also some excellent blues, such as My Mamma Was A Sailor by Julius Daniels, which opens this set. Daniels was a fine singer and guitarist who must have had an amazing repertoire, judging from the few titles he recorded. He certainly leaves you wishing he'd recorded more. Someone who did was Curley Weaver, and here are his complete pre war recordings, plus six tracks from 1949. [Contrary to the impression given in Neal Slaven's otherwise informative booklet notes, Weaver did make some further recordings in the company of Blind Willie McTell. These were reissued, in superlative sound, on Blind Willie McTell / Pig 'n Whistle Red, Biograph 30171 Weaver was a talented if not particularly distinctive performer whose first session produced No No Blues, a very effective song with a driving guitar part and on which he sounds remarkably like Barbecue Bob. By the time though you have heard another three versions plus two with different lyrics you will probably have had enough of it. Unfortunately appreciation of his pre war work is hampered in many cases by poor sound quality. There are no such problems with discs three and four. The third features Peg Leg Howell, whose recordings blues historian Paul Oliver rates "among the most important documentations of the early blues". Fair comment, but it is odd that, apart from the complete works on Matchbox (MBCD 2004/5), Howell has been largely neglected by other reissue companies, at least in recent times. He had a gift for refashioning songs he had learned in rural Georgia (including white country music) as well as for original compositions like the excellent Low Down Rounder's Blues. On such solo sides his fingerpicking was varied, and his heavy voice with its lugubrious tone was well suited to his blues. Elsewhere he was supported by his "gang" of street musicians including the rough "alley fiddle" of his friend Eddie Anthony. Some of Howell's best work has few equivalents in pre war blues, like Coal Man Blues with its street vendors' cries or Please Ma'am, an "over and over" song pleading against rejection, where the repetition of a few phrases becomes like some kind of extended mantra. There is plenty to enjoy in all these tracks, from Beaver Slide Rag, a perfect country dance tune, to the acknowledged masterpiece of Skin Game Blues. The final disc concludes Peg Leg's legacy and presents other recordings by members of his gang. Highlights include Georgia Crawl by Henry Williams and Eddie Anthony and the second session of Anthony (recording as Macon Ed) with guitarist Tampa Joe, which culminates with Warm Wipe Stomp (worth having just for the title!). Vaudeville singer "Sloppy" Henry provides variety and a memorable Canned Heat Blues before songster Lil McClintock delivers Furniture Man and Don't Think I'm Santa Claus. McClintock's performances were representative of an older style in 1930 but still sound wonderfully fresh today. Sound quality shows a worthwhile improvement on corresponding Document/Matchbox reissues, and is generally very good apart from some worn Curley Weaver sides. The sound of two postwar Weaver tracks duplicated on Biograph 30171 is however slightly better on the Biograph reissue. Finally, the format of discs three and four here represents an improvement over the Matchbox discs, in that all the Peg Leg Howell sides are presented together rather than being split up by recordings of his associates. Altogether this is another important set, full of fascinating and unique recordings. (DPR)
JULIUS DANIELS: Can't Put The Bridle On The Mule This Morning (Take 1)/ Can't Put The Bridle On The Mule This Morning (Take 2)/ Crow Jane Blues/ I'm Goin' To Tell God How You Doin'/ My Mamma Was A Sailor/ Ninety-Nine Year Blues (Take 1)/ Ninety-Nine Year Blues (Take 2)/ Richmond Blues (Take 1)/ Richmond Blues (Take 2)/ Slippin' And Slidin' Up The Golden Street (Tak 3)/ Slippin' And Slidin' Up The Golden Street (Take 2)/ THE GEORGIA BROWNS: Decatur Street 81/ It Must Have Been Her/ Joker Man/ Next Door Man (Take 1)/ Next Door Man (Take 2)/ Tampa Strut/ Who Stole De Lock/ 'SLOPPY' HENRY: Canned Heat Blues/ Long, Tall, Disconnected Mama/ Royal Palm Special Blues/ Say I Do It/ PEG LEG HOWELL: Away From Home/ Ball And Chain Blues/ Banjo Blues/ Beaver Slide Rag/ Broke And Hungry Blues/ Chittlin' Supper/ Coal Man Blues/ Doin' Wrong/ Fairy Blues/ Fo' Day Blues/ Hobo Blues/ Low-Down Rounder Blues/ Moanin' And Groanin' Blues/ Monkey Man Blues/ New Jelly Roll Blues/ New Prison Blues/ Papa Stobb Blues/ Peg Leg Stomp/ Please Ma'am/ Rock And Gravel Blues/ Rolling Mill Blues/ Sadie Lee Blues/ Skin Game Blues/ Tishamingo Blues/ Too Tight Blues/ Turkey Buzzard Blues/ Turtle Dove Blues/ Walkin' Blues/ MACON ED & TAMPA JOE: Everything's Coming My Way/ Mean Florida Blues/ Tantalizing Bootblack/ Tickle Britches/ Try That Thing/ Warm Wipe Stomp/ Worrying Blues/ Wringing That Thing/ LILLIE MAE: Bootie Wah Bootie/ Buggy Jail House Blues/ Mama Don't Want It/ Wise Like That/ LIL MCCLINTOCK: Don't Think I'm Santa Claus/ Furniture Man/ Mother Called Her Child To Her Dying Bed/ Sow Good Seeds/ CURLEY WEAVER: . Tricks Ain't Walking No More/ Baby Boogie Woogie/ Birmingham Gambler/ Black Woman/ Brown Skin Woman/ City Cell Blues/ Dirty Deal Blues/ Dirty Mistreater/ Early Morning Blues/ Early Morning Blues/ Empty Room Blues/ Fried Pie Blues/ I Keep On Drinkin'/ It's The Best Stuff Yet/ Leg Iron Blues/ My Baby's Gone/ No No Blues/ No No Blues (Take 1)/ No No Blues (Take 2)/ No No Blues (W. Eddie Mapp)/ Oh Lawdy Mama/ She Don't Treat Me Good No More/ Some Cold Rainy Day/ Some Rainy Day/ Sometime Mama/ Sweet Petunia/ Ta Ta Blues/ Ticket Agent/ Tippin' Tom/ Trixie/ Two Faced Woman/ Wild Cat Kitten/ You Was Born To Die/ HENRY WILLIAMS & EDDIE ANTHONY: Georgia Crawl/ Lonesome Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77121 A Short Cut To The Grave ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, very highly recommended
Fabulous collection featuring pre war blues recordings dealing with what might lead us to quickly "shuffle off this mortal coil and join the choir invisbule." Disc 1 is devoted gambling with particular emphasis on "the numbers" aka "policy game" - an illegal lottery game that was particularly popular in African-American communities in the 1920s and 1930 but also including card games and dice. It includes Numbers On The Brain by New Orleans Willie Jackson, Policy Blues by Jim Jackson, Dices BLues by Bob Campbell, Gambling Man by Red Nelson plus tracks by Papa Charliue Jackson, Peg Leg Howell, Foster & Harris, Clifford Gibson and more. The second disc is devoted to drugs and booze with Booze And Blues by Ma Rainey, Cocaine Blues by Luke Jordan, Whiskey Moan Blues by Clifford Gibson, Cocaine Habit Blues by The Memphis Jug Band plus sides by Lewis Black, Jenny Pope, Funny Paper Smith, Jimmie Gordon and others. Disc 3 takes us to prison with Ninety Nine Year Blues by Julus Daniels, Penitentiary Bound Blues by Sylvester Weaver, the fantastic Penitentiary by Bessie Tucker, Buggy Jail House Blues by Lillie Mae plus sides by Peg Leg Howell, Buddy Boy Hawkins, Furry Lewis, Red Nelson and more. And the final disc metts up with the old grim reaper himself (her self?) with See That My Grave Is Kept Clean by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Death Bell Blues by Tom Dickson, Suicide Blues by Georgia Tom, Death Of The Gambler by Black Spider Dumplin' plus Bessie Mae Smith, Nolan (Barrel House) Welsh, Leola Manning, Leadbelly, etc. Although there have been some similarly themed compilations this is particularly nice because it is the most extensive and it includes quite a few tracks not readilly available elsewhere. Sound quality is generally fine thoug a few of the rare tracks are from worn 78s and sound a bit rough. Neil Slaven's brief, but informative, notes gives us insight into the themes covered. (FS)
KOKOMO ARNOLD: Chain Gang Blues/ Policy Wheels Blues/ BABY DOO: Death of Walter Barnes/ BARBECUE BOB: Me and My Whiskey/ WALTER BEASLEY: Georgia Skin/ ED BELL: My Crime Blues/ BIG MACEO: County Jail Blues/ BILLY BIRD: Down in the Cemetery/ LEWIS BLACK: Corn Liquor Blues/ BLACK SPIDER DUMPLIN': Death of the Gambler/ SCRAPPER BLACKWELL: Bad Liquor Blues/ BLIND BLAKE: Poker Woman Blues/ LUCILLE BOGAN: Drinking Blues/ Whiskey Selling Woman/ BUMBLE BEE SLIM: Dead and Gone Mother/ Policy Dream Blues (You Better Get on It)/ BOB CAMPBELL: Dices Blues/ GENE CAMPBELL: Robbin' and Stealin' Blues/ LEROY CARR: Big House Blues/ Gambler's Blues/ Papa Wants to Knock a Jug/ Six Cold Feet in the Ground/ PETER CLEIGHTON: Roaming Gambler/ SAM COLLINS: The Jail House Blues/ ARTHUR "BIG BOY" CRUDUP: Death Valley Blues/ JULIUS DANIELS: Ninety Nine Year Blues/ BLIND TEDDY DARBY: Bootleggin' Ain't Good No More/ TOM DICKSON: Death Bell Blues/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Angola Blues/ SLEEPY JOHN ESTES: Jailhouse Blues/ FOSTER & HARRIS: Alley Crap Game/ BILL GAITHER: A Short Cut to the Grave/ GEORGIA TOM: Suicide Blues/ CLIFFORD GIBSON: Bad Luck Dice/ Whiskey Moan Blues/ JIMMIE GORDON: Drunken Woman Blues/ Graveyard Blues (Dead and Gone Blues)/ Number Runner's Blues/ BUDDY BOY HAWKINS: Jailhouse Fire Blues/ PEG LEG HOWELL: New Prison Blues/ Skin Game Blues/ JIM JACKSON: Bootlegging Blues/ Policy Blues/ NEW ORLEANS WILLIE JACKSON: Numbers on the Brain/ PAPA CHARLIE JACKSON: Four-Eleven-Forty-Four/ BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: Hangman's Blues/ JAMES "STUMP" JOHNSON: Barrel of Whiskey Blues/ MARGARET JOHNSON: Dead Drunk Blues/ TOMMY JOHNSON: Canned Heat Blues/ BILL JOHNSON'S LOUISIANA JUG BAND: Don't Drink It in Here/ LUKE JORDAN: Cocaine Blues/ LEAD BELLY: Death Letter Blues/ FURRY LEWIS: Judge Harsh Blues/ LILLIE MAE: Buggy Jailhouse Blues/ LITTLE SON JOE: Bone Yard Blues/ CRIPPLE CLARENCE LOFTON: Policy Blues (You Can't 3-6-9 Me)/ LOUISIANA JOHNNY: Policy Blues/ LEOLA MANNING: Laying in the Graveyard/ JOE MCCOY: Joliet Bound/ BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: Death Cell Blues/ THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Cocaine Habit Blues/ He's in the Jailhouse Now/ Snitchin' Gambler Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: I'm a Gamblin' Woman/ MEMPHIS SLIM: Beer Drinkin' Woman/ THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Hitting the Numbers/ CHARLIE "DAD" NELSON: Coon Can Blues/ RED NELSON: Crying Mother Blues/ Gamblin Man/ Jailhouse Blues/ JACK NEWMAN: Blackberry Wine/ ROBERT NIGHTHAWK: Good Gamblin'/ CHARLEY PATTON: High Sheriff Blues/ Prayer of Death, Pt. 2/ JENNY POPE: Whiskey Drinkin' Blues/ MA RAINEY: Booze and Blues/ TAMPA RED: Dying Mercy Blues/ MOOCH RICHARDSON: Burying Ground Blues/ BESSIE MAE SMITH: My Daddy's Coffin Blues/ FUNNY PAPER SMITH: Corn Whiskey Blues/ VICTORIA SPIVEY: Dope Head Blues/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: Devil's Island Gin/ Drunken Gambler/ TAMPA RED: Prison Bound Blues/ BESSIE TUCKER: Penitentiary/ WALTER VINCSON: When the Breath Bids the Body Goodbye/ WASHBOARD SAM: Gonna Kill My Baby/ Policy Writer's Blues/ SYLVESTER WEAVER: Penitentiary Bound Blues/ NOLAN WELSH: Dying Pickpocket Blues/ PEETIE WHEATSTRAW: Coon Can Shorty/ BUKKA WHITE: Good Gin Blues/ Parchman Farm Blues/ Strange Place Blues/ GEORGIA WHITE: Graveyard Blues/ ROBERT WILKINS: Police Sergeant Blues/ BIG JOE WILLIAMS: Haven't Seen No Whiskey/ GEORGE "BULLET" WILLIAMS: The Escaped Convict/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON I: Blues That Made Me Drunk

VARIOUS ARTISTS Old Hat 1003 Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow* ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 74 mins, essential
Old Hat's second compilation exploring the role of the fiddle in blues of the 20s and 30s is another magnificent set featuring superb music, breathtaking sound and astounding documentation. The violin was not a common feature of blues recordings of the 20s and 30s as the sound was perhaps considered a little dated but as this collection shows it had a great deal to contribute. Every cut is a gem and the set starts with the great Rukus Juice & Chittlin' by The memphis Jug Band featuring the fiddle of Charlie Pierce - a talented musician who had a long career on the Memphis music scene including a stint with W.C. Handy's Orchestra. The gorgeous Moanin' And Groanin' The Blues by Peg Leg Howell & His Gang features the stellar violin playing of Eddie Anthony, on the jazzy My Four Reasons by Banjo Ikey Robinson & His Bull Fiddle Band we hear the great vocals of Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon and the fiddle of Robert Waugh, "Dad" Tracy provides a fine fiddle accompaniment to Big Joe Williams and his slide guitar on Wild Cow Blues and Big Bill Broonzy proves he was as adept on the fiddle as the guitar on the tracks by The State Street Boys and The Alabama Rascals. There are a couple of surprises here - the white string band The Georgia Yellow Hammers features black fiddler Andrew Baxter and there is a track by Abrew's Portuguese Instrumental Trio featuring Cape Verdean fiddler Agusto Abreu which does not sound out of place in the context of the rest of the album. There are also tracks from Walter Jacobs & Lonnie Carter, The Tennessee Chocolate Drops, Alec Johnson (with Bo Chatmon aka Carter on fiddle), Peetie Wheatstraw, Frank Stokes, The South Memphis Jug Band and others. Sound quality is stunning with crispness, clarity and warmth and an almost total lack of surface noise. The 32 page booklet is a work of art itself with extensive notes by compiler Marshall Wyatt and a slew of great vintage photos, label shots, memorabilia and more. Invaluable! (FS) If you don't already have Old Hat's first volume of blues violin playing (Old Hat 1002 - "Violin Sing The Blues For Me") you really should as it's just as good! For an offer you can't refuse why not get both volumes and we'll only charge you $25.50!

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 253 Jump Baby Jump - The Mar-Vel Records Story ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, highly recommended
One of the lesser known labels profiled by One Day. Mar-Vel Records, based in Hammons, Indiana, was founded by Maverick record producer Harry Glenn in 1949 and issued over 140 sides over the next 15 years on Mar-Vel and his affiliated labels. The label mostly issued honky tonk country, western swing, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll which is what you get here. The most exciting artist here is Jack Bradshaw whose four songs here straddles the line between hillbilly and rockabilly. Other artists here include Harry Carter (the tough title song with rocking accordion), Bob Burton, Jim Gatlin, , Stoney Calhoun (his Bounce Baby Bounce has a wild steel guitar solo), Harold Allen (fine honky tonk duet) and others. Almost all the tracks are worthwhile with the exception of the two tracks by Herbie Duncan which sound parodies of real rockabilly. (FS)
HAROLD ALLEN: I Need Some Lovin'/ I'm Setting You Free/ SHORTY ASHFORD: Plenty Of Lovin'/ Turkey's In The Pea Patch/ THE BEVERLY SISTERS: Oh Ricky/ JACK BRADSHAW: Joe-Joe/ Naughty Girls/ Out Of The Picture/ Saturday Night Special/ BOB BURTON: Boogie Woogie Baby Of Mine/ Can't Live My Life All Alone/ Forty Acres Of My Heart/ Tired Of Rocking/ STONEY CALHOUN: Bounce Baby Bounce/ Hot 'N' Cold/ HARRY CARTER: I Don't Want You/ Jump Baby Jump/ You Made Me Love You Baby/ Rhythm In My Soul/ CHUCK DALLIS: Come On Let's Go/ Moon Twist/ HERBIE DUNCAN: Hot Lips Baby/ Little Angel/ That's All/ JIM GATLIN: The Way You're Treating Me/ BILL HALL: Let Me Love You/ BILLY HALL: Move Over Rover/ REX JENNINGS: Itchy Feet/ TEX JUSTUS: It's Always Been Like This/ THE LAW BROTHERS: Root Beer/ SHERRY LEE: Baby Honey/ I'm Crazy Darling/ BILL LILLPOP: One Eyed Sal/ RAY LYNN: Mean Mean Woman/ BILLY NIX: Get With The Beat/ Perhaps/ BOBBY SISCO: Honky Tonkin' Rhythm/ You're Not The Same/ REM WALL: Lonely Nights And Teardrops/ Waiting

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 254 I Dig 'Em All - The Swan Records Story ● CD $11.98
2 CD, 50 tracks, highly recommended
Swan was one of the myriad of independent labels started in the '50s during the first rock 'n' roll boom. Started in 1957 by Bernie Binnick and Tony Mamarella, the label managed to hang on for a decade before folding. This compilation, however, is only covers the label's first five years, from 1957 to 1962. Although the collection kicks off with Johnnie Jackson's energetic I Dig 'Em All, the real star of this set-and indeed the label itself-is the next artist in sequence: Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans, Palisades Park (written by Chuck "Gong Show" Barris!), and Tallahassee Lassie may be pop fluff, but they are some of the most highly charged and exciting pop records of the late 50's/early 60's. Just to emphasize his importance to the label, the compilers have included no less than six of Cannon's greatest hits and every one of them is worth the price of admission. Other notables served up by the label include the memorably named Dickie Doo & the Don'ts (the country-esque Click Clack), Danny & the Juniors (past their peak, but they still got it on Pony Express and Twistin' All Night Long, which features Freddy Cannon), and Roy Buchanan (yes, that Roy Buchanan) on the great Mule Train Stomp. The other tracks vary in quality from good to great, but there's no reason why you shouldn't add this to your no doubt bulging collection of One Day label collections. (GMC)
LEE ANDREWS: I Cried/ I've Got A Right To Cry/ BILLY & LILLIE: Creepin', Crawlin, Cryin'/ La Dee Dah/ CODY BRENNAN & THE TEMPTATIONS: Ruby Baby/ Shake The Hand Of A Fool/ ROY BUCHANAN: Mule Train Stomp/ FREDDY CANNON: Buzz Buzz A-Diddle-It/ Muskrat Ramble/ Palisades Park/ Tallahassee Lassie/ Transistor Sister/ Way Down Yonder In New Orleans/ LOY CLINGMAN: Show Down/ DANNY & THE JUNIORS: A Thousand Miles Away/ Back To The Hop/ Pony Express/ Twistin' All Night Long/ GINGER DAVIS & THE SNAPS: I'm No Run Around/ RONNIE DAWSON: Ain't That A Kick In The Head/ Hazel/ DICKY DOO & THE DON'TS: Click Clack/ Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu/ Teardrops Will Fall/ THE FIRESIDERS: No One Cares For Me/ BONNIE FUSSELL & THE JIVES: Too High Class/ GABRIEL & THE ANGELS: Don't Wanna Twist No-More/ FRANKIE GRIER QUARTET: Lonesome For You/ Oh Gloria/ RON HOFFMAN: Sleep Baby Sleep/ JOHNNIE JACKSON: I Dig 'Em All/ ACE KENNEDY & THE CANDIES: I Made A Mistake/ JACKIE LEE: Happy Vacation/ BARRY PETRI: Pretty Little Angel/ THE QUAKER CITY BOYS: Teasin'/ EDDIE RAMBEAU: Summertime Guy/ LITTLE JIMMY RIVERS & THE TOPS: Puppy Love/ THE ROCKIN' REBELS: Wild Weekend/ THE SATURDAY KNIGHTS: Tiger Lily/ FRANK SLAY: Flying Circle/ DOC STARKES & HIS NITE RIDERS: Apple Cider/ ARTIE SULLIVAN: It's Time/ MARY SWAN: My Heart Belongs To Only You/ Prisoner Of Love/ THE TAMS: Valley Of Love/ TEDDY & THE TWILIGHTS: I'm Just Your Clown/ Woman Is A Man's Best Friend/ THE UPBEATS: Just Like In The Movies/ MARK VALENTINO: The Push And Kick/ TONY VALENTINO: Big Big Woman

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day 255 Let's Stick Together - The Fury Records Story, 1957-196 ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of R&B, blues and doo-wop recordings made for Bobby Robinson's Fury label. There have been a number of reissues drawn from Robinson's stable of labels (Fire, Fury, Red Robin, etc) so you may already have many of the cuts here but it's still a great collection and a number of the tracks here are not readily available elsewhere. The labels hits and classics are here like Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison, Letter Full Of Tears by Gladys Knight & The Pips, Number Nine Train by Tarheel Slim, Ya Yaz by Lee Dorsey, I'm So Happy by Lewis Lymon & The Teenchords and others along with fine sides from The Scarlets, Hal Paige & The Whalers, The Velvets (not the group that recorded for Monument even though the picture of the latter group is in the booklet), Little Joe Cook, Riff Ruffin, The Vibra-Harps, Curtis Carrngton (tough Little Richard style rocker), The Starlites, The Emotions, The Kodaks, JImmy Ricks and others. (FS)
JUNE BATEMAN: Believe Me Darling/ BOBBY & BUDDY: What's The Word Thunderbird/ CURTIS CARRINGTON: I'm Gonna Catch You (Cutting Out On Me)/ THE CHANNELS: Bye Bye Baby/ My Love Will Never Die/ LITTLE JOE COOK: These Lonely Tears/ LEE DORSEY: Behind The 8-Ball/ Do-Re-Mi/ Ya Ya/ You Are My Sunshine/ THE DU MAURIERS: All Night Long/ THE EMOTIONS: It's Love/ THE FEDERALS: Dear Lorraine/ You're The One I Love/ WILBERT HARRISON: Cheating Baby/ Kansas City/ Let's Stick Together/ Little School Girl/ CARL HOGAN & THE MIRACLES: I Love You So/ JACKIE & THE STARLITES: I Found Out Too Late/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ Guess Who/ Letter Full Of Tears/ Operator/ THE KODAKS: Little Boy And Girl/ My Baby And Me/ Oh Gee, Oh Gosh/ Teenager's Dream/ LEWIS LYMON & THE TEENCHORDS: Honey, Honey (You Don't Know)/ I'm Not Too Young To Fall In Love/ I'm So Happy (Tra-La-La-La-La-La)/ Please Tell The Angels/ HAL PAIGE & THE WHALERS: Going Back To My Home Town/ Pour The Corn/ THE PIPS: Darling/ JIMMY RICKS: I Wonder/ LITTLE BOBBY RIVERA & THE HEMLOCKS: Coralee/ RIFF RUFFIN: Dig That Rock And Roll/ Hucklebuck Scratch/ THE SCARLETS: East Of The Sun/ Truly Yours/ SHERMAN & THE DARTS: Remember (It's Only You And I)/ Rockin' At Midnight/ THE SOUTHWINDS: They Call Me Crazy/ THE STARLITES: Ain't Cha' Ever Coming Home/ Way Up In The Sky/ TARHEEL SLIM: Number Nine Train/ Wildcat Tamer/ THE VELVETS: Dance Honey Dance/ THE VIBRA-HARPS: The Only Love Of Mine

VARIOUS ARTISTS Original Blues Classics OJCCD 508 Chicago - The Living Legends: South Side Blues ● CD $12.98 $7.98
Reissue of Riverside 9403 from 1961 featuring small group sessions produced by Sam Charters. Includes sides by Mama Yancey (with Little Brother Montgomery on piano), Little Brother Montgomery (with small Dixieland group), Walter Vinson (with Jesse Coleman aka "Monkey Joe" on piano and others) and obscure singer/ harmonica player Henry Benson who is a fine singer but unimpressive harmonica player.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40191 Classic African-American Ballads* ● CD $11.98
22 tracks, 68 minutes, essential
An absolutely wonderful collection of African-American ballads by a wide variety of artists including John Jackson (Louis Collins), Big Bill Broonzy (Frankie And Johnny), Leadbelly (Gallis Pole/ John Hardy/ Old Riley), Snooks Eaglin (St. James Infirmary), Cephas & Wiggins (Stagger Lee), Pink Anderson (The Titanic/ Boll Weevil), Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (John Henry), Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon (Stewball) and the stunning and stirring version of Lost John from the Convicts at The Ramsey And Retrieve State Farms (this alone worth the price of the collection). Includes a 34-page booklet with lengthy notes from Barry Lee Pearson on the origins of the songs and the artists. While there's nothing new on this gathering though a number of tracks are making their first appearance on CD, it's a brilliant reminder of how potent the African-American ballad was to American music in general. Simply beautiful! (CR)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40211 Classic African American Songsters From Smithsonian Folkways ● CD $11.98
21 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
Another superb collection drawn from the archives of Smithsonian Folkways - some from previously issued CDs, some only available on LP and some unissued. Barry Lee Pearson's illuminating notes discusses the origins and varying uses of the term "songster" throughout the years but for the purposes of this CD it refers to African American artists performing music other than blues including hillbilly songs, Tin Pan Alley songs, songs from the minstrel shows, proto blues, old British Broadside Ballads and more. Performers include Warner Williams with Jay Summerhour, John Jackson, Brownie McGhee, Lead Belly (his 1948 recording of My Hula Love was copied note for note by rock 'n' roll singer Buddy Knox for his 1957 hit Hula Love for which Knox took composer credit), Peg Leg Sam, Marvin Foddrell, Big Bill Broonzy, Snooks Eaglin and more. With great sound and superb notes this is another invaluable collection from Smithsonian Folkways. (FS)
PINK ANDERSON: Talking Blues/ The Boys of Your Uncle Sam/ BIG BILL BROONZY: Bill Bailey/ JOHN CEPHAS AND PHIL WIGGINS: Going Down the Road Feeling Bad/ REVEREND GARY DAVIS: Candy Man/ SNOOKS EAGLIN: Careless Love/ MARVIN FODDRELL: Reno Factory/ MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT: Monday Morning Blues/ JOHN JACKSON: Don't Let Your Deal Go Down/ Nobody’s Business (If I Do)/ LEAD BELLY: My Hula Love/ MARTIN, BOGAN, AND ARMSTRONG: They Cut Down the Old Pine Tree/ BROWNIE MCGHEE: Pallet on the Floor/ Raise a Ruckus Tonight/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Alabama Bound/ PEG LEG SAM: Froggy Went-a-Courting/ Straighten Up and Fly Right/ BILL WILLIAMS: Chicken You Can’t Roost Too High For Me/ When the Roses Bloom Again/ WARNER WILLIAMS WITH JAY SUMMEROUR : Bring It On Down To My House/ Honeysuckle Rose

VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7051 A Gospel Christmas Card ● CD $14.98 $9.98
17 tracks, 44 min., strongly recommended
This lovely collection reissues the Staple Singer's The 25th Day Of December album from 1962. From Pops Staple's instantly identifiable guitar on Silent Night to the gently persistent drive and tight harmonies of Wasn't It A Mighty Day, this is a tremendous coupling of restraint and religious passion. Perhaps the finest moments come on the infrequently recorded The Last Month Of The Year, which features Mavis' bigger-than-life vocals out front. Of the three songs by Cleophus Robinson (all unissued) that follow, Sweet Little Jesus Boy does the nicest job showing off his incredible pipes. The disc stops spinning after a rare pair of Christmas songs by the Plilgrim Travelers, I'll Be Home For Christmas/ Silent Night. A blessing. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7064 Vocal Groups - Coast To Coast ● CD $15.98 $9.98
26 tracks, 66 min., essential
This bi-coastal disc offers, first, the spectacularly rare East Coast Prestige label vocal group numbers by the jazz-influenced Mellow Moods and the 40's-sounding Cabineers, and, second, some of the earliest group numbers from the West Coast's Specialty label. Selections include Call On Me and I'm Lost by the Mellow Moods, Each Time and Lost by the Cabineers, Thrill Me Baby by Henry Pierce & His Five Notes, I Was a Fool by the Dukes, One Little Blessing by Jesse Belvin, How Do You Kiss an Angel by Vernon Green & the Phantoms, and Red Sails in the Sunset by the Monitors. Great stuff from start to finish. These tracks, particularly those from the East Coast and the Prestige label, rank among those I thought least likely ever to be reissued. It is indeed a pleasure to again be proven wrong. Thanks Fantasy. (DH)
JESSE BELVIN: Gone/ One Little Blessing/ THE CABINEERS: Baby Mine/ Baby, Where'd You Go (to)/ Each Time/ Lost/ My My My/ What's The Matter With You/ THE CHIMES: Zindy Lou/ EUGENE CHURCH: Why Oh Why/ THE DUKES: Come On And Rock/ I Was A Fool/ Oh Kay/ Ooh Bop She Bop/ BYRON SLICK GIBSON & THE SLIDERS: Honey Dew/ VERNON GREEN & THE PHANTOMS: How Do You Kiss An Angel/ THE MELLO MOODS: Call On Me/ I Tried And Tried And Tried/ I'm Lost/ The Christmas Song/ When I Woke Up This Morning/ THE METRONOMES: That's Bad/ THE MONITORS: Red Sails In The Sunset/ HENRY PIERCE AND HIS FIVE NOTES: Hey Fine Mama/ Thrill Me Baby/ THE TITANS: Can It Be

VARIOUS ARTISTS Take Two 501 Songs Of World War 1 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, highly recommended
Not a new release but unavailable for a number of years. Two CD set with 40 songs inspired by World War 1 - many which have become stanadrds taken from original recordings made between 1914 and 1926. Includes It's A Long Long Way To Tipperary by The American Quartet, Keep The Home Fires Burning by John McCormack, Pack UP Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag by Reinald Warrenth, I'm Always Chasin Rainbows by Charles Harrison, Hello Central Give Me N Man's Land by Al Jolson and many more. Sound quality is superb and 20 page booklet has detailed notes. (FS)
THE AMERICAN QUARTET: Goodbye Broadway, Hello France/ It`s A Long Long Way To Tipperary/ Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny Oh!/ NORA BAYES: Over There/ HENRY BURR: Just A Baby`s Prayer At Twilight/ My Buddy/ AMPARITO FARRAR: Madelon/ ARTHUR FIELDS: How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (After They've Seen Paree)/ Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning/ The Yanks Started Yankin`/ Good Morning, Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip/ When I Send You A Picture Of Berlin/ ALICE GREEN AND RAYMOND DIXON: Will You Remember/ MARION HARRIS: When Alexander Takes His Ragtime Band To France/ CHARLES HARRISON: I`m Always Chasing Rainbows/ CHARLES H. HART: It`s Time For Every Boy To Be A Soldier/ CHARLES HART AND LEWIS JAMES: Till We Meet Again/ MORTON HARVEY: I Didn`t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier/ AL JOLSON: Hello Central Give Me No Man`s Land/ I`ve Got My Captain Working For Me Now/ FRITZ KREISLER: Poor Butterfly/ HARRY LAUDER: The Laddies Who Fought And Won/ JOHN MCCORMACK: Keep The Home Fires Burning/ Roses Of Picardy/ There`s A Long, Long Trail/ LAMBERT MURPHY: Smiles/ BILLY MURRAY: K-K-K-Katy/ Sister Susie`s Sewing Shirts For Soldiers/ The Further It Is From Tipperary/ THE PEERLESS QUARTET: Au Revoir But Not Goodbye Soldier Boy/ I`m Gonna Pin My Medal On The Girl I Left Behind/ We Don`t Want The Bacon (What We Want Is A Piece Of The Rhine)/ We`ll Do Our Share (While You`re Over There)/ My Dream Of The Big Parade/ PAUL REIMERS: Memories/ JOHN PHILIP SOUSA: The Caissons Go Rolling Along (U. S. Field Artille/ ELIZABETH SPENCER AND CHARLES HART: Let The Rest Of The World Go By/ VAN AND SCHENCK: I Don`t Want To Get Well/ REINALD WERRENRATH: Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag/ ANNA WHEATON AND JAMES HARROD: Till The Clouds Roll By

JOE VENUTI & EDDIE LANG Fabulous 2041 The Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang Collection, 1926-1933 ● CD $9.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, strongly recommended
Collection of sides featuring the incredible talents of violinist Joe Venuti and guitarist Eddie Lang. Thirteen of the performances are fiddle/ guitar duets that are sublime and the rest features either or both with bands like Jean Goldkette & His Orch., Frankie Trumbauer & His Orch., Annette Hanshaw, Joe Venuti's Blue Four (which also featured Lang), Bessie Smith, Hoagy Carmichael & His Orch. and others. The music is generally excellent but the sound is less so - quite a few of the tracks have been filtered diminishing the high end and some have horrible artifacts associated with excessive digital noise reduction, but for the most part it is listenable. Were the sound better this would get an essential rating. (FS)
THE BOSWELL SISTERS: It's The Girl/ CLIFF EDWARDS: Good Little Bad Little You/ I'm Telling The Birds, I'm Tellling The Bees/ RUTH ETTING: There Ought To Be A Moonlight Saving Time/ When We're Alone/ JEAN GOLDKETTE AND HIS ORCHESTR: Idolising/ ANNETTE HANSHAW ACC BY THE FOUR INSTRUMENTAL STA: I Like What You Like/ ANNETTE HANSHAW AND HER SIZZLIN' SYNCOPATORS: It Was Only A Sunshower/ LONNIE JOHNSON & EDDIE LANG: Bullfrog Moan/ LONNIE JOHNSON AND BLIND WILLIE DUNN: Two Tone Stomp/ ROGER WOLFE KHAN & HIS ORCH.: Just The Same/ EDDIE LANG: Perfect/ ED LANG AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Hot Heels/ NAPOLEON'S EMPERORS: Anything/ RED NICHOLS AND HIS FIVE PENNIES: Bugle Call Rag/ Oh! Peter/ Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula/ FRANKIE TRUMBAUER AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Krazy Kat/ Singin' The Blues/ JOE VENUTI & EDDIE LANG: Black And Blue Bottom/ Doin' Things/ Goin' Places/ Stringing The Blues/ Sunshine/ Wild Cat/ JOE VENUTI AND HIS BLUE SIX: Doin' The Uptown Lowdown/ JOE VENUTI AND HIS NEW YORKERS: Because My Baby Don't Mean Maybe Now/ JOE VENUTI WITH EDDIE LANG AND THEIR ALL STA: After You've Gone/ Beale Street Blues/ Farewell Blues/ JOE VENUTI WITH EDDIE LANG'S BLUE FIVE: Jig Saw Puzzle Blues/ Pink Elephants/ Raggin' The Scale/ JOE VENUTI WITH EDDIE LANG AND THEIR ALL STA: Someday Sweetheart/ JOE VENUTI'S BLUE FOUR: A Mug Of Ale/ Beating The Dog/ Cheese And Crackers/ Dinah/ Four String Joe/ I'll Never Be The Same/ I've Found A New Baby/ Little Girl/ Put And Take/ Sensation/ Sweet Sue, Just You/ The Man From The South/ The Wild Dog/ JOE VENUTI'S RHYTHM BOYS: Now That I Need You, You've Gone/ There's No Other Girl/ ETHEL WATERS: When Your Lover Has Gone

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